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hoot creative arts

Cultural Impact Development Fund

The arts and mental health charity is using its loan to extend its therapeutic interventions in custodial settings beyond its own community in the North of England.

Fallon Michael

hoot creative arts

Region: Yorkshire & Humber
Discipline: Combined Arts
Investment Size: £66,668

The Organisation:

hoot is an arts and mental health charity with a mission to support mental health and emotional wellbeing through a range of creative activities. The organisation has delivered creative workshops in hospitals, custodial, care, supportive housing and a wide range of community settings across the life course for the last 20 years, first focussing its programming primarily toward local communities in Huddersfield and later expanding its services across Yorkshire and the North of England. Through services spanning an artist’s residency program in supported housing or hospital settings to music and singing workshops that complement therapeutic interventions in custodial settings, hoot brings targeted participatory arts programming to a broad group. 


The Opportunity:

The management team approached CIDF with a request for a £66,668 investment to scale its existing Music in Prisons programming into the South, East and London regions of England. Through Music in Prisons hoot works on the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway (OPDP) delivering music, singing and songwriting workshops with residents and staff within specialist custodial settings, aiming to provide a pathway of psychologically informed services for a complex and challenging offender group. This investment was financed through a blended package of grant and loan and will be used to increase business development, regional and creative management capacity as well as cover marketing, training and recruitment costs for an expanded OPDP programme. 


The Process:

Prior to taking on investment from CIDF, hoot applied for the Reach Fund, a grant programme designed to help charities and social enterprises unlock social investment. Through the Reach Fund grant, hoot engaged an independent consultant to conduct peer analysis, investigate the commissioning landscape in the South, East and London, interview key stakeholders and analyse market demand for the OPDP programme. A thorough investigation revealed strong short-term demand from commissioners in the South and East and medium-term potential for expansion into London which gave the hoot management team and the CIDF investment team confidence to move forward with the due diligence process.  


The Impact:

hoot’s pathway to impact for the Music in Prisons OPDP encompasses creating pro-social environments and improving psychological wellbeing for a high need target population: individuals that have committed serious offences, been clinically diagnosed as having a personality disorder and have voluntarily engaged in the programme as part of their recovery. Through harmony singing, song writing and rhythm activities, hoot sessions create opportunity for a shared safe and inclusive group experience of creativity, leading to improvements in individual self-esteem, interpersonal communication, resilience, problem-solving abilities and musical skills. Alongside the investment, hoot will receive one-to-one support from CIDF to develop their impact management processes, expand on their Theory of Change and articulate the nuances of their pedagogical approach.